Carl Fletcher Flemer, Jr., 99, died peacefully in his home on April 25, 2021. Carl was the oldest son of Carl Flemer, Sr. and Margie Armentrout. While attending Cornell University, he met his wife of 76 years, Shirley, from Westhampton Beach, NY. Carl later studied horticulture at the University of Maryland.
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Carl was a true renaissance man – an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, patriot, and athlete. After years of dairy farming, he founded Ingleside Plantation Nursery in the 1950s, which grew to be one of the largest wholesale nurseries in the eastern US. He later become one of the pioneers of the Virginia wine industry, starting Ingleside Winery in 1980 with help from his dear friend, winemaker Jacques Recht. The award-winning winery is one of the oldest on the eastern seaboard and one of the largest in Virginia.
Carl was an avid historian, and wrote two books about Virginia’s Northern Neck – Four Centuries of Little Known Washington Parish History and Birthplace of the Nation: Leedstown, Westmoreland and the Northern Neck. He loved to visit historic homes and was enamored with fine art, antiques, and historical artifacts.
Carl was a community servant, serving on the Westmoreland County School Board, the Westmoreland County Planning Commission, and the vestry of St. Peters Church in Oak Grove. He was instrumental in the expansion of the Peoples Bank of Montross, where he served as board chairman. Carl was a leader in the nursery industry, serving as vice president and president of the Virginia Association of Nurserymen, and was a founding member of the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, which now has over 10,000 attendees annually.
Carl hunted, fished, and rode horses, but his passion was tennis, which he played on a court he built at Ingleside and also on his annual visits to Boca Raton. As a lover of gourmet food, he was proud to be a ROMEO (retired old men eating out) in later life. Carl was especially proud that his three sons and grandson Jordan are now running the family businesses, which are flourishing.
Carl was predeceased by four siblings – Bela, Margie, Betty, and Pat. He is survived by his wife Shirley, his sister Blanche, sons Fletcher Flemer, Douglas Flemer (Nancy), and Christopher Flemer, his daughters Sherri Flemer and Sara Flemer Simpson (Kennedy), his grandchildren Bradley Pugh, Douglas Pugh, Sara Pugh Wright (Russell), Jordan Flemer (Bekah), Carlyn Flemer, Tierney Simpson Jutzi (Joe), Will Simpson, Palmer Simpson (Jessica), and his great-grandchildren Kira Wright, Maia Wright, Ryan Pugh, and Kennedy Jutzi.
A private family service will be held on Thursday, May 6 at St. Peter’s Church in Oak Grove. A celebration of life will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St Peter’s Church Endowment Fund, 893 Liberty Farm Rd., Oak Grove, VA 22443 or the Parkinson’s Foundation at www.Parkinson.org.